Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Patience is a Puzzle Lost in the Attic

Today I was chatting with one of my coworkers and she said something I don't think I've ever really considered before. We were talking about being patient during difficult or exciting times, and she said this: "You must remember to be patient with yourself". My breakup with Andrew has been internally very disquieting. While difficult at the time, it is especially hard now to look at myself and not see all of my insecurities. I operate under the assumption that whatever doesn't kill me will make me stronger - and that has never, ever been untrue for me. That experience was certainly a time of growth, pain, and learning for me; it has made me stronger in many, many ways and I am grateful for the things I have come to discover about myself, the world, love, and God. I am a problem-solver; if I find a problem, if I recognize it, I assume that I have the ability to systematically rid myself of it. I think of it this way: I think of my mind as an attic with boxes everywhere. When I speak about recognizing problems, I tend to visualize things that are out of order in my attic. To rid myself of this problem, I feel as though I should be able to simply pick up those things that I'd rather not have there anymore and put them in an empty box, and then put the box outside of my attic in the dumpster. Funny thing is that after I come back in from the dumpster, I find all of those things back on the floor of my attic, scattered about. This week has especially been a challenge, as I had felt that I had started to finally clear some of that stuff out, but it's like someone came in with a truckload of crap and dumped it all about in disarray, messing up my order of things and swamping me with old memories that are too painful to even say here.

And then my coworker said, "You must remember to be patient with yourself". Patient with myself? No no, I had never considered this. I see something on the floor, I pick it up and immediately put it into the empty box for the dumpster. I had never considered that perhaps I could not do that right away. She spoke about being in the time you are in instead of wishing for things to happen more quickly. For me, this means living - however painfully - with my fears instead of immediately shoving them out the door and wondering why they won't go away the instant I shut them out. She spoke about waiting for God because His timing is perfect. This I have come to find to be very, very true. There are so many things that I thank God for on a daily basis; I surely would not have survived by my own flawed guidance. Funny thing is that, now that I think about it, I have only ever asked God for peace and patience in this situation. I have never thought to ask Him to heal me. I assumed that I would heal myself; perhaps this is why I was so quick to get rid of all my "garbage". This is my way of healing. Perhaps this is why I still haven't healed.

This is where I must shake my head and laugh. Here I am, thinking I have myself figured out - thinking I have God figured out - and bam. Surprise. I can't heal myself. Why did I even think I could? Perhaps all of my boxes were too heavy for me to get out the door by myself; they become so much more manageable with someone to help me carry them.

Truly laughing out loud as I write this in my office. I feel like I have found the one puzzle piece that has been missing for 20 years under the couch, and now I can complete the puzzle and see the whole picture.

"You have been more faithful than the morning sun.
You have been more faithful than knowing night will come.
You have been more faithful than the changing of seasons."

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